SIGGRAPH Course: FEM Simulation of 3D Deformable Solids: A practitioner's guide to theory, discretization and model reduction

Eftychios Sifakis and Jernej Barbic

A practical guide to finite-element-method (FEM) simulation of 3D deformable solids reviews essential offline FEM simulation techniques: complex nonlinear materials, invertible treatment of elasticity, and model-reduction techniques for real-time simulation.

Simulations of deformable solids are important in many applications in computer graphics, including film special effects, computer games, and virtual surgery. FEM has become a popular method in many applications. Both offline simulation and real-time techniques have matured in computer graphics literature.

This course is designed for attendees familiar with numerical simulation in computer graphics who would like to obtain a cohesive picture of the various FEM simulation methods available, their strengths and weaknesses, and their applicability in various simulation scenarios. The course is also a practical implementation guide for the visual-effects developer, offering a very lean yet adequate synopsis of the underlying mathematical theory. The first section introduces FEM deformable-object simulation and its fundamental concepts, such as deformation gradient, strain, stress, and elastic energy, discusses corotational FEM models, isotropic hyperelasticity, and numerical methods such as conjugate gradients and multigrid. The second section presents the state of the art in model reduction techniques for real-time FEM solid simulation. Topics include linear modal analysis, modal warping, subspace simulation, domain decomposition, and which techniques are suitable for which application.

FEM Simulation of 3D Deformable Solids: A practitioner’s guide to theory, discretization and model reduction

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